Weekly Roundup #6

This past week was filled with a trip to the great white north of Ohio, where we have family. It gave us the opportunity to try a whole slew of local Ohio brews. Our first stop after getting our rental van at the airport was Fisher’s, the local grocery store, where we loaded up our cart with as much beer as we figured we could consume in a four day period. Of all the ones we bought and tried, two stood out, both from the Thirsty Dog Brewery in Akron. Something that always makes me giggle when I go up north Read More …

Initial Tap List

The following is a description of the initial offering four our beer taps. If the prose seems a little stuffy it is because it is an excerpt from our business plan that we are writing. The Gnome Hole Brewpub will initially provide twelve different taps to serve a variety of beer. Out of the twelve taps, four of the taps will consist of a static offering that always provides the same beer. The other eight taps will rotate to a different beer while maintaining the same theme. Static Beer Taps Our static offering beer taps provide consistency so that customers know that when they Read More …

Weekly Roundup #5

This week, we engaged in the sexy pursuit of research. I am a trained librarian and I find research and books to be two of the best and most fun things around, besides beer. Ries read small business guides, made a list of equipment vendors, and started a to-scale drawing of equipment layout. I read up on serving temperatures and line cleaning. See? So sexy. We tried a Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout from Epic Brewing. It was smooth, with a full mouth feel. It tasted like the perfect cup of coffee on a cold night. It was fabulous and has Read More …

A Love Affair With Rauchbier

Rauchbier is a style of German beer which means “smoked beer.” It is most often made from a marzen, urbock, or weizen style base. The original Rauchbier comes from two small breweries in Bamburg, Germany, Schlenkerla and Spezial who both still smoke their own malts. The title photo is a picture of the outside of the Schlenkerla Tavern. My pictures of our trip, which were taken with film on actual rolls, did not contain any pictures of this tavern. We stumbled upon rauchbier almost by accident. In 2005, Ries and I went on our first overseas trip together. We went Read More …

Weekly Update #4

A day late but here it is: This week: Ries visited the guys over at Saloon Door Brewery. Their system is much larger than the one we will have, 10bbl vs. 3bbl. They are building their space from scratch and, while the brewing system is in place, they are still working on the tap room and bar. The gentlemen over there were very friendly and it was nice to make some new brewery friends. Their head brewer, like us, started out as a home brewer who outgrew his home. I am excited to see their finished product and taste their Read More …

Entrepreneurship: Can I do this?

In the midst of all the research we are doing, I keep reading material on starting a business and advice for entrepreneurs.  I’ll admit to being terrified by the prospect.  It is daunting.  I came across the image below from Business for Beginners: From Research and Business Plans to Money, Marketing and the Law by Frances McGuckin  It is not the first such list that I have come across.  You could make a good argument that I don’t have any of these traits.  Maybe #6 as I am passionate about brewing, but I don’t think I could really convince myself Read More …

Weekly Update #3

This week, life happened. I have been sick and Ries had to double up duties. However, we still managed to move ahead with a few things. We bought a Last Straw bottle filler so we can fill bottles from kegs. This will allow us to fill bottles to enter contests. I am also curious if it will be an improved method of filling growlers. We got a quote from Stout Tanks and Kettles for the brewery set-up we want. Ries considered every line item and finalized a brewery equipment plan. Now, all we need is a wad of cash. Hahaha. Not kidding. We Read More …

Weekly Roundup #2

One thing that will be interesting is how we will balance opening the Gnome Hole with our regularly scheduled responsibilities. Many people have asked, and yes, Ries is still working and will do so for as long as possible. I also work part-time, though occasionally, like this week, it is more than full time. I write books and we both have family and ministry responsibilities. All that to say, this is one of those weeks where most of the movement towards our goal was intellectual. This week: Ries made a lot of spreadsheets and updated ones he already had. He Read More …

Four Brewpub Founding Pillars

Early on, we wanted to define who we were as a brewpub and what pillars or aspects define the kind of establishment that we will be creating. This is not to be confused with our guiding principles, which I am sure one of us will write about at a later time. This is more like a description of the product that you will see that was formed out of our principles. I originally sat down to write these as part of our business plan, which is still in the works. Ries asked me to pick four or five things I thought made our Read More …

Weekly Roundup #1

The Weekly Roundup series will be posted, hopefully, every Friday. In it, I plan to give a short summary of what we did this week to prepare for the eventual brewing of beer and opening of doors. I hope this list will help track what we did when. This week we: Launched the official website of Gnome Hole Brewpub. Hooray! Our unleashing of it upon the world means we are serious about this craft beer stuff. It also means all of our family and friends will be hounding us to death until they can sit at a table, drink our Read More …